The Cocoon Smart Home will harvest rainwater, solar energy and organic veggies in the Caribbean

May 17, 2018 by  
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This self-sufficient home topped with a soaring cocoon -like structure envisions new heights of off-grid living. The Cocoon Smart Home, designed by  Richard’s Architecture + Design (RA+D), will be the first  Minergie -ECO certified building in the  Dominican Republic . With solar panels , a geothermal system and rainwater harvesting, this Santo Domingo home fully embraces sustainable design. RA+D wanted to design the ideal automated house that contributes to the health of its inhabitants and the surrounding environment . Multiple sources of clean energy will power the Cocoon Smart Home, including solar, residential wind turbines and a geothermal system. The five-bedroom home will also be equipped with a Viessmann fuel cell heater that uses hydrogen — RA+D says this will be the first one in the Caribbean. Battery storage keeps LED lighting and a water heating system running, and excess power can be rerouted to the public grid or utilized to charge electric cars. Related: Futuristic power plant concept generates clean power through wind, solar and geothermal energy An organic vertical garden , framed with glass and steel cables, comprises the cocoon of the building and allows plenty of natural light into the home. RA+D included cross ventilation, tilted louvers and strategic landscaping to mitigate heat. Cocoon Smart Home employs rainwater harvesting and boasts an on-site water treatment plant. With rainwater collectors and water purification systems, residents will be able to obtain clean drinking water. There’s even enough water and power for food production — RA+D said there is potential for gardens or greenhouses to thrive here. The goal of the home’s interior is to connect its inhabitants to nature. An open floor plan, natural limestone floors and fir and ash wood walls, floors, ceilings and furniture blend together in what the firm calls a Caribbean-chic aesthetic. “Each of these systems working harmoniously in this house represents a historic achievement for this landmark project,” said Kyle Hubert, part of the RA+D design team. “We feel confident that these synergized renewable energy technologies, along with energetically self-sustainable organic food production and water sourcing, will begin a new paradigm for private residency development, moving from smart homes to smart neighborhoods and cities.” Hubert said Cocoon Smart Home is currently under construction. + Richard’s Architecture + Design Images via Richard Moreta Castillo

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The Cocoon Smart Home will harvest rainwater, solar energy and organic veggies in the Caribbean

Lego-like kindergarten sparks creativity with a playful brick facade

May 17, 2018 by  
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Brick may often be seen as boring and traditional, but that’s not the case when the material falls into the hands of KIENTRUC O . The Vietnamese architecture studio creatively used the ancient building block to breathe life into Ho Chi Minh City’s new Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten located in the city’s District 2. The building is made entirely from bare brick arranged in patterns to form an eye-catching and playful facade that also promotes natural ventilation. Likened to a “giant Lego building,” the Chuon Chuon Kim 2 Kindergarten features perforated brick walls with sections painted vibrant yellow for a spectacular effect. While a playful atmosphere conducive to exploration was crucial in the design, the architects also wanted to create a space that felt calm and relaxed. To that end, the building is organized around a central active core that branches out to serene  classroom settings. “Instilled within the school is an openness with a spark of curiosity that allows people of all ages to venture and explore the space in a relaxing and calming atmosphere,” the architects wrote. “As we have engaged in numerous educational projects, we recognize that these experiences are equally as important as the responsibility of nurturing the kids. It invokes a sense of pride, and interests within the teacher and the staffs. It inspires and embraces them, for they have chosen to dedicate their life for the education and the well-being of the children on a daily basis.” Related: This stunning brick “cave house” in Vietnam is open to the elements Each floor features alternating patterns that encourages children to become more attuned to their surroundings. The walls are punctuated by large windows for continuous views inside and out. Access to daylight , cross breezes and a natural material palette help promote a healthful environment. A rooftop garden tops the building with panoramic views of the Saigon River. + KIENTRUC O Via ArchDaily Images by Hiroyuki Oki

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Lego-like kindergarten sparks creativity with a playful brick facade

The all-natural ‘Wellness Kitchen’ includes a beautiful living herb wall

May 17, 2018 by  
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Kitchens are often the heart of any home, and now an innovative company is giving our beloved cooking space a healthy and sustainable makeover. Interior design company  Finch London recently unveiled its beautiful bespoke rose-colored “Wellness Kitchen” that’s built with various chemical-free and eco-friendly materials  and features a stunning herb wall. The London-based company’s Wellness Kitchen — which recently took home the grand prize at the Grand Designs Live event for its spectacular design — offers a glimpse into the future of eco-friendly kitchen design . The space includes a number of wellness features such as incandescent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) light bulbs, a doTerra essential oil diffuser, a steam oven, an alkaline water purifier and much more. The countertops are made of Jesmonite, a water-based material that, unlike cast concrete, does not release volatile organic compounds . Related: Artisan Moss ‘plant paintings’ are maintenance-free alternatives to living walls The flooring is made from natural cork  harvested through an environmentally-friendly process. Resistant to dust and toxic absorption, cork is an ideal choice for people who suffer from allergies. It’s also antimicrobial and water-resistant, which helps to combat mold. A major feature of the kitchen is its verdant living herb wall installed on the kitchen island. In addition to various air-purifying plants found hanging throughout the space, the indoor herb garden allows homeowners to grow their own herbs and spices organically. + Finch London Via Household Beautiful Images via Finch London

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The all-natural ‘Wellness Kitchen’ includes a beautiful living herb wall

Tiny ‘hut in the sky’ radically transforms urban Dominican Republic rooftop

January 5, 2017 by  
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Probably the only thing better than having a beautiful rooftop garden is living in one. At the request of homeowners who were looking for an intimate refuge in the bustling Dominican Republic city of Santo Domingo, the team from ANA Arquitectura converted a rooftop garden space into a livable ‘hut in the sky’. The rooftop apartment and terrace space was designed to be a refuge for the family, who wanted to be central to the city but still have the peace and quiet that comes with a little bit of privacy. The interior of the apartment is compact, but just perfect for light gatherings and family time. Related: Tokyo apartment retrofit makes space for incredible spa The entrance to the apartment leads directly into the indoor entertaining area, designed by Laurelen González. The wooden flooring and spectacular high-gabled timber ceiling, along with hidden lighting, give the small space an open and spacious feel. Although compact, the living area was designed to comprise the heart of the entertainment area, as well as a quiet space for the family. But, let’s be honest, most guests will most likely gravitate to the spectacular outdoor deck upon arrival. Wood plays a strong role in the interior as well as the exterior. Wood siding covers the floor as well as the built-in bench seating and beautiful spa area. Subtle lighting gives off a sense of tranquility and the deck is surrounded by various tall plants for privacy. + ANA arquitectura Via Contemporist Photography by Jesus Rodriguez

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Tiny ‘hut in the sky’ radically transforms urban Dominican Republic rooftop

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